Written by Daniel Offner Thursday, 20 February 2014 00:00
New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed $137 billion spending plan will increase education aid by $807 million for the 2014-2015 school year, which will trickle down to the Westbury School District in the form of a 9.25 percent increase over last year.
Based on the preliminary budget figures, the Westbury School District will receive $3,175,452 more than last year, a total of $37,510,168 in state aid. The Carle Place School District will also see a slight rise in aid, and is expected to receive a 1.77 percent increase of $65,992, bringing this year’s estimated state aid total to $3,798,481.
Using the preliminary budget numbers, the state Department of Education has calculated how much state aid will be allocated to each individual school district. Of the $807 million increase, the state education department estimates a $24.2 million increase for school districts in Nassau County, an average increase of nearly $300 per student.
The executive budget also allocates $1.5 billion, over a five-year period, to fund a statewide universal full-day pre-K program, $720 million over five years to expand after-school programs, and proposes a $2 billion Smart Schools Bond Act to ensure students have access to the latest technology needed to compete on the global stage.
But according to Timothy G. Kremer, the executive director of the New York State School Boards Association, the $807 million increase statewide would leave schools unable to continue their current programs and services without exceeding the tax cap.
“While the governor’s budget contains many laudable issues such as state-funded universal prekindergarten and after-school programs, his state aid allocation falls way short of the mark,” Kremer said. “We appreciate the governor’s leadership in putting forward a $2 billion proposal for technology and capital costs associated with full-day prekindergarten expansion, but hope that the Legislature will increase the state’s investment in general support for public schools.”
Since the executive budget has not yet been approved by state lawmakers, the amount of state aid is subject to change.